Monday, April 11, 2016

Hillary's Possible Pardon Cushion

At Dan Abrams' Law News, there is chit chat about a possible presidential pardon.for Hillary Clinton. It is observed that "behaviors" that were "observed" in recent interviews with Clinton and President Obama "suggest" that "discomfort could stem from the specter of a presidential pardon having entered the equation."

The piece accuses Clinton of "deceptive behavior" in an interview with Matt Lauer, denying that there was classified information on her personal email server, despite the fact that it "has been established that over 2,000 of her emails reportedly contained classified material, including 22 emails that contained Top Secret information."

The authors then link Clinton's reaction when Lauer raised the idea of her being placed in handcuffs - "Well, Matt, I know they live in that world of fantasy and hope, because they’ve got a mess on their hands on the Republican side ... That is not going to happen. There is not even the remotest chance that is going to happen” - to the fact that Bill Clinton pardoned former CIA Director John Deutch (who "put classified information on several of his laptop computers") on his last day in office.
Her flippant, dismissive behavior was, in fact, consistent with the behavior we often see in the criminal world, when a person is arrested on suspicion of committing a serious crime. As an example, we routinely see people who are arrested actually fall asleep soon after the cell door clangs shut, even in the middle of the day. In contrast to a truthful person, whose level of concern would likely lead to several sleepless nights, a deceptive person tends to be dismissive of the circumstances. Now, if it’s the case that what we’re seeing from Clinton is genuine, substantiated confidence, to what can we attribute her seeming certainty that she has nothing to worry about? We can only surmise that there is at least a possibility that she has received some sort of assurance to that effect. 
The authors say their "hypothesis regarding a potential pardon assurance was dramatically bolstered" when Chris Wallace interviewed President Obama, who "minimized the seriousness of Clinton’s transgression" and  discussed "the handling of classified information in [a] wantonly cavalier manner."
When Wallace tried to ask a follow-up question with the introduction, “Just to button this up,” the President cut him off. “I guarantee it,” he said. “I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case.” The interruption, in the form of an overly-specific response, failed to address the entirety of the options available to the President, and Wallace likely recognized that. So he gave it another shot. “And she will be treated …” he persisted, only to be cut off again by the President. “Full stop. Period,” the President said Wallace persevered. “And she will be treated no differently …” he began. But once again, he was abruptly, forcefully cut off. “Guaranteed, full stop,” President Obama said. “Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department, because nobody is above the law.” 
Wallace, finally, asked Obama if what he was saying would still be the case, if Clinton is the Democratic nominee. The President retorted, “How many times do I have to say it, Chris? Guaranteed.” See full story here.

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